During a family trip to the Pacific Northwest, we went to the Oregon coast to see Haystack Rock. Located on Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock is the giant boulder from which the pirate ship emerges in the classic movie, The Goonies. It was a sight to see on its own, but I almost broke down in tears from nostalgia. I wanted to BE Sean Astin for about two years after seeing Goonies for the first time, and within that span I watched Goonies about 25 more times.
As usual, the girls were unimpressed. For some reason, “Hey kids—look at that rock. It’s from a movie you’ve never seen” failed to wow them. This disappointment, combined with the heavy weight of nostalgia, formed a great decision inside of my brain: That’s it. We’re getting Goonies. The girls are watching Goonies.
My wife was skeptical, mainly because the movie—she was a huge fan as well—was a little bit scary as a kid. I agreed, but argued that our oldest loves being scared—seriously, she is disappointed in movies that aren’t at least a tiny bit unsettling—and our youngest's processing mechanism can lead her to believe that Spider-Man appears in Frozen, so we were good there. My wife urged me to check the rating, and when I confirmed it was PG, I Amazon Primed the DVD right to the hizzz-ouse.
You probably know by now that I wouldn’t be writing about this if my decision wasn’t a disaster. Allow me to list some observations.
- PG obviously did NOT mean what it does now back in the 80s. This PG movie starts with a gun fight and the word "shit" is said about a dozen times in the first 10 minutes. How do you parentally guide THAT, PG rating?
(Fratelli brother says “shit”)
Don’t say that girls.
(Mrs. Fratelli says “shit”)
That’s a bad word girls.
(Other Fratelli brother says “shit”)
Don’t say that girls. Bad wor-
(Chunk says “shit”)
Shit, what the hell?
- For claiming to be such a fan of the movie, I had forgotten almost all of it. Had I remembered a fraction of what I believed I did, I never would have condoned a 4- and 5-year-old watching this. A penis falls off a statue, a frozen dead body falls on Chunk about 20 times, the d-bag boyfriend tries to look down that girl’s shirt in the car … we pretty much fast-forwarded through the entire thing. It was a wonderful family experience.
- The girls weren’t scared of anything. When I thought about the movie providing a healthy sense of fear, I was thinking about Mrs. Fratelli and Sloth, mainly. The girls couldn’t have cared less. I had hoped Sloth would teach them a lesson about not judging people who look different, but they weren’t even scared. WHY AREN’T YOU GIRLS SCARED OF SLOTH?! YOU’RE MISSING THE LESSON THAT YOU SHOULDN’T BE SCARED OF SLOTH!
- In typical 80s fashion, I had ignored some of the movie’s more glaring weaknesses as a kid. Especially the end. Why is everyone on the beach? How did they all know these missing children would emerge there? And why is the construction representative on the beach hounding Mikey’s dad about signing away the house? I understand he’s supposed to be the bad guy, but dang—CHILL, YO. Maybe let the guy reunite with his two missing kids who just emerged from a cave or whatever. Also, Sloth is going to live with Chunk now? Really, Chunk’s parents? Maybe you want to take some time to think this through? No? You’re cool with adopting, on a whim, an adult with disabilities who has been chained in the basement his entire life and who befriended your son thanks to a mutual love of candy bars? OK, fine. I guess I shouldn’t question the judgment of parents who went to the beach RANDOMLY HOPING their missing boy would show up, and had several Dominos pizzas with them just in case he did.
- Worst of all, the rock from which the Pirate ship sails out at the end didn’t look anything to me like Haystack Rock. As strange as this sounds, it just didn’t. I mean, I know it is … right? When we stood at its foot and took pictures, we were in total belief that it was, and everyone who saw our vacation pictures agreed. But I’m telling you—it doesn’t look like it in the movie. It made me question everything, like the catalyst of this entire poor decision-making process wasn’t even real.